Thursday, August 17, 2006

Conservation Economy: The Architecture of Statism... (Part 2)

Mr. Atos

The Capital of the Mind...

On the face of it, Sustainability is a just and noble achievement. One should strive, after all, to act responsibly in all manners of personal conduct, including consumption. Human history contains numerous missteps as lessons to be learned in this regard. The natural world contains its own. More illustrative still, has been the history of Man’s progress toward an increasing respect for the human relationship with the Earth’s environment. Early in Man’s development, balance was achieved by necessity; primitive efforts toward survival being at the mercy of the Earth’s nature. The capacity to think ultimately provided the means to transcend limitations. Eventually, given the opportunity, early cultures rendered tremendous negative impacts on their environment. Paleo-Humans hunted megafauna to extinction. Mayans decimated their valleys with agrarian overproduction. European peoples deforested entire regions. The propensity for maintaining sustainable relationships tended to diminish with progressive technological advancements. Atlatles, chinampa farming techniques, bronze tools, and internal combustion engines act similarly to create immediate challenges to the balance between Man and the environment. Abuse followed advancement, to be certain. It is a pattern that continued well into the industrial era: Landscapes stripped; skies burnt; rivers tarnished; and oceans raped. The built environment likewise grew for reasons seemingly without rhyme. Yet, even in the over-analyzed Modern Era missteps were ultimately tempered by introspective re-assessment. Throughout the 19th Century and into the 20th, a voracious trend of industrial progress seemed to overwhelm any sense of dependence, for the conceit of hubris in an age of human enlightenment. Man nevertheless strived toward improvement.

Ultimately, the capacity for the mind to comprehend it’s place in it’s universe restores the balance. By the later half of the 20th Century, Man’s enlightenment extended to an assessment of place and impact. Values were refined, adjusting focus to the quality of life and sustained existence. Mistakes that were made needed to be remedied. Liberty had initially cultivated the quality of excelled purpose. It now inspired the mechanism for flourishing a sense of thoughtful conversion. A new environmental consciousness encouraged change so that by the end of the last century, tremendous improvements had been realized; if only barely recognized.

The Third recorded millenium of civilization arrived with the dawn of sustained promise. The previous had demonstrated that a mind driven increasingly by choice over instinct, once unleashed within a rational universe, transcended limitations to excel far beyond expectation. This next promised to extend even those expectations. In the process of technological development, Man’s identity transformed congruently. The mind recognized a respect for self, and existence was realized independent of group and state. The shackles of tyrannies were removed and discarded for codified relationships understood on the basis of individual significance. Ethics and values replaced blood and station and a new worth extended to brethren and nature alike. A mind fed first on self-respect, can only then lend respect accordingly. Ownership replaced stewardship and feudal dependency. Capitalism was born. Systems could be sustained by means of effort and trade devoid of mandate and sanction. The will afforded currency to each according to one’s enterprise, while worth became the manifestation of ethics reflecting the value of each according to one’s desire to exist. The individual grasped power under constitutional recognition of self-evident authority and legitimacy by nature of existence alone. And ownership of self and effort provided the capital of liberty. A revolution delivered Man from the boot heel of thugs and tyrants…

…the very place to which a Conservation Economy threatens a return.

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